Chief residents learn to be administrators and advocates

Organization is key to their role

Tamara Vineberg - 31 October 2018

Nick Giffin and Zafira Bhaloo are halfway through their term as co-chief residents for the General Pediatric Residency program and have learned that organization is key to be successful in their role.


"It comes down to being efficient and getting things done in the best way possible and that's a learning process over the course of the year. I think we are getting better at doing those roles," says Giffin. Bhalloo adds, "You come into the role thinking time management and organization are already your strengths but you quickly learn those are things you can improve on."


As third year residents, they felt the role of chief was a good opportunity to learn how the medical education program ran behind the scenes. "I think having been in the program for two years, we are able to appreciate the strengths of the program. This role is really about how I can contribute to help continue those strengths and identify areas for improvement," says Bhaloo.


The pair have are learning to be administrators and advocates. While they hear concerns from the residents, they also have to consider the perspectives of staff and faculty before proposing any changes. One area they are examining is the transition of junior residents to senior residents and how to support them through this process, how to best incorporate teaching on the go when residents are on the clinical teaching unit and how to better integrate quality improvement and patient safety into the curriculum.


As a bonus, through their experience, Giffin and Bhaloo have learned what niche they are interested in for their careers. Bhaloo wants to focus on quality improvement, patient safety and teaching while Giffin enjoys clinical medical education.